Amongst the bricks and mortar, that is the industrial side of Digbeth, and beside the Fazeley Studios is a rather polished looking place known as the Fazeley Street Social. While Digbeth has a burgeoning culture, one of its major draws is this new cafe. The stunning Victorian building, which includes a Victorian chapel, has been restored to a glorious splendour. Admittedly, the shiny new venue is at odds with the area's surrounding warehouses. Equally refreshing is the cafe's offering of decent and inventive home-made food, at reasonable prices. It's a good choice for breakfast, lunch or informal meetings.
The café inside is bright and warming, but it's the space which continues past FSS that I kept craning my neck to look at.
Through the glass doors, which face the canteen is the terrace that is simply decorated with a few wicker chairs, a bench, tables, and pretty vases. Further on is the chapel bit, which is more like a wealthy person's living room. This area has the largest, plushiest looking sofas I was allowed to sink into. The décor screamed rich and sumptuous, but was simultaneously muted. The marriage of white walls and a high ceiling within the converted space, full of neutral tones, glass candle holders, baroque mirrors and professional flower displays, looked simply darling.
Although the chapel and terrace are strictly for business use and party hosting, I couldn't help feel there was a little leeway to be had, for the atmosphere in the room was relaxed, but it was also professional and modern. Think laid back luxury for grown- ups.
I wouldn't suggest bringing kids to Fazeley Street Social, nor the back rooms because it's more of a media, press, marketing and PR meeting haunt. Children may be welcome in the café, but they'd probably be bored for there is no entertainment and no high chairs for babies, either.
You'll find the typical Digbeth crowd in there, but also suited and booted folk who have booked the terrace for a meeting. I met the chef, who introduced himself whilst smoking a cigarette, his eyes heavy with black eye liner. If that isn't relaxed, and achingly cool, I don't know what is.